Pennsylvania Mortgage Scammer Charged With Trying to Hire Hit Man

A man who has been cooperating with authorities after pleading guilty in a Philadelphia-area mortgage scam case has been charged with trying to hire a hit man to kill two people and maim a third.

Authorities say Mahn Huu Doan was indicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to commit murder for hire. The indictment alleges that Doan promised to pay a man to murder two people and "assault, mutilate and maim" a third victim.

Defense attorney William Brennan says Doan, who is being held without bail pending a detention hearing Wednesday in federal court, has no history of violence and the charges are unproven allegations at this point.

"In the dozen or so years that I've been representing him, he's never been charged with a violent crime, only economic crimes," Brennan said. "This is totally out of character.

"He's all bluster," said Jeffrey Miller, who is also representing Doan. "A lot of bark, but no bite."

Doan had been scheduled for sentencing June 16 after pleading guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud, making false statements and identity theft charges. But defense attorneys said the new charges could affect his cooperation agreement and the scheduled sentencing.

Authorities said South Philadelphia-based Doan headed a group that defrauded banks by lying to obtain federally backed mortgages. Prosecutors alleged in court documents that the scheme ran from March 2001 to February 2003 and involved the purchase and sale of about 180 properties in the Philadelphia area.

Doan was one of 10 people indicted in July 2006 but reached a plea agreement a few months later and has been free on $50,000 bail.